Metro Manila · National Citizens & Icons (Manila)
National Citizens & Icons is a compilation of names that you should be familiar with when living in Metro Manila. It includes national heroes and others who shaped the Megacity and the country in the past - but also those who are currently shaping the future of the Megacity: national icons in politics, sports and pop culture.
Since he participated in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, ice skater Michael Martinez is one of the Philippines' latest national icons. The young man was the only athlete from the country and the first-ever figure skater from the tropical zone to qualify for the Olympics.
Jessica Sanchez not winning American Idol caused a stir in the Filipino community in the United States and back home in the Philippines when her rendition of The Prayer, I Have Nothing, and Change Nothing did not give her the top spot.
Charice Pempengco is a Cabuyao, Laguna native who rose to fame through her YouTube videos. Her self-titled international studio album landed in Billboard 200’s Top 10 making Pempengco the first Asian solo artist to make it in the said spot.
Honolulu born Peter Gene Hernandez more popularly known as Bruno Mars shot to stardom when Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire”, a song that he co-wrote and produced, hit the airwaves.
Jollibee is without a doubt an icon in the Philippines. As a mascot, the red-white-yellow bee – chubby, cuddly and always smiling – is omnipresent here and far more popular than Ronald McDonald. The same is true for the restaurant it represents. Thanks to Jollibee, the Philippines is one of the few countries where McDonald's is not the No.1 fast food chain.
The millions of Overseas Filipino Workers count as "national heroes" in the Philippines. They do not only provide a living for their families back home, but also make a considerable contribution to the country's gross domestic product and its economic growth.
Philippine boxer Manny Pacquiao is the first eight-division world champion named by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2000 as the “Fighter of the Decade”. Growing up in a small town in Bukidnon – one of the country’s far flung provinces in the south - Manny Pacquiao and his siblings know how it is to be poor.
As a member of the Black Eyed Peas, Allan Pineda, alias apl.de.ap, is one of the most successful Philippine musicians worldwide. Born in Angeles City, Pampanga, he was adopted by an American family at age 14. Although he is a US citizen, hip hop star and millionaire now, he never forgot about his roots, which makes him an idol for many young Filipinos.
Award-wining Philippine singer and actress Lea Salonga owes her fame to Kim, a bar girl in the musical Miss Saigon. It became the starting point of a global singing career.
Benigno Simeon Aquino III, fondly known as Noynoy or PNoy, rose to power during the 2010's elections, one year after his mother - the former president 'Cory' Aquino passed away. With the outpour of sympathy for the family because of the democracy ikon’s death and with Noynoy being the symbol of hope for the country, the unmarried Aquino won his bid for the Philippine presidency in 2010 and led the country until 2016.
Being the first freely elected Philippine president after the Marcos era, Cory Aquino counts as one of the national ikons of the democratic Philippines, together with Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., her husband. The Filipinos honor her as “the housewife who led a revolution” and “mother of Philippine democracy”.
Former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. is regarded as an icon of Philippine democracy. His assassination in 1983 fueled the opposition to rise up against the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, inspiring the first People Power Revolution and installing a new administration.
Imelda Marcos’ extravagant lifestyle and her over 2000 pairs of shoes gave birth to the word Imeldific –now an official word in the dictionary. It wasn’t just the shoes or the designer clothes and her love for closing the whole of Macy’s so she can shop without being disturbed whenever she dropped by New York City that made the Leyte native infamous. It was her elegance and her beauty that made Imelda an unforgettable figure both in the Philippines and worldwide.
Hated by many but still admired by some, former president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos is the person who shaped the Philippines in the second half of the 20th century -more than anybody ever did. Traces of his two-decade-long reign can still be found everywhere: in infrastructure and pompous architecture, in the economic power structure, in still pending legal cases, and in social problems that originated from or worsened in the Marcos era.
Philippine General Emilio Aguinaldo served as the first president of the islands at the age of 28 when the country gained a short-lived independence in 1898.
Known as a nationalist and revolutionary, the Philippine lawyer Andres Bonifacio started the Philippine Revolution against its colonial master Spain in 1892.
Jose Rizal is the Philippines' National Hero. He was an eye doctor, artist, and writer. As a non-violent reformist, his written works inspired a revolution that led to the transformation of the Philippines into an independent democracy. He died a martyr, leaving behind a famous death poem entitled "Mi Ultimo Adios" or "My Last Farewell".
Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat or Sultan Kudarat was a Maguindanao native who fought fervently against Spanish conquistadors who attempted to conquer his kingdom. A direct descendant of the Muslim missionary Shariff Kabungsuwan who brought the religion to the islands between the 13th and 14th century, Sultan Kudarat was the main force that hindered the Christianization of Mindanao.